Chronic potholes frustrate Thunder Bay drivers

A Thunder Bay driver believes the city needs do more to address the pothole problem on area roads.

Thunder Bay roads manager says there are fewer complaints of bumpy roads, however

As spring rounds the corner, an increase in the weather's freeze-thaw cycle creates many fresh potholes on Thunder Bay roads. (Gord Ellis/CBC)

Thunder Bay drivers are noticing that while the snow is melting, motorists are seeing something else on  area roads: potholes. At least one driver believes the city needs do more to address the pothole problem on area roads.

Randy Neufeld said Roland Street, where he works, is a disaster — and has been for several springtimes in a row.

Neufeld said he has complained to the city but has seen few results.

"I gave them feedback and I called back later in the year," he said, adding he was told "that [street] wasn't one of the streets selected. It wasn't bad enough."

"Well, it's definitely bad enough," Neufeld continued. "It causes damage to people's vehicles."

The manager of Thunder Bay's road division said the city has received an average number of complaints about potholes this year.

Brad Adams said crews are dispatched to fix potholes where they can.

"We have crews out trying to get the water off the road," he said. "And then we also have some crews out addressing potholes."

Complaints 'a bit below average'

But Neufeld countered that "sending out a couple guys with dumptrucks every year to smack one shovel full of asphalt into a hole often makes it worse," and the city needs a longer term approach to potholes.

"It just seems like nothing gets done," he said.

"They need to identify the roads that are really bad and let the public know what's going on. And then repair some of these roads in such a way that they will last long term and it's not just a shovel full of dirt in a hole."

Adams said complaints about potholes this year are "a little bit below average compared to previous years."

He said potholes are caused by the freeze and thaw cycle and are related to the condition of the asphalt.

"The age of the asphalt can result in more cracks, there is more possibilities for those potholes to form," he said.

"When the water gets into those cracks and freezes, there is more likelihood of potholes being created in those areas."

Complaints like Neufeld's are par for the course in Adams' line of work.

"It's an ongoing issue," Adams continued.

"Sometimes, when [potholes] are under the water they are hard to find and hard to fill. So once we get the water off the road then we can address it. It's difficult for the motoring public as well, as when you are driving all you can see is a puddle. There could be a pot hole in there."

Send in your pothole pictures

CBC Thunder Bay wants you to see your photos of potholes on city streets.

Simply email your photo to, or tweet it by tagging it #superioramlisa on Twitter.

Just make sure to tell us the address or nearest intersection where you came across the pothole.

Your photo could be included in a special pothole map on our website.